A remarkable debut CD

Quartz has just released Grace’s debut CD, Brahms & Liszt, to critical acclaim. The disc is available at HMV for £15, Discovery Records for £10.99, at HMV.com for £9.99 and on Amazon.


Grace Francis’s recital at Wigmore Hall last month is closely followed by this equally remarkable debut disc. She has a prodigious technique, so the bravura demands of Brahms’s Paganini Variations and Liszt’s Tarantella hold no terrors for her, and she makes Liszt’s intricate filigree writing a thing of enchantment. She revels, too, in the rhythmic energy of the Brahms C major sonata, but sounds a deep, glowing note in its slow-movement variations. This early opus, written when the composer was barely 20, is revealed as a work of extraordinary confidence and structural strength and subtlety. Schumann, when Brahms played it to him, wrote in his diary: “a genius”. It’s tempting to say the same of Francis. She’s certainly a pianist to watch.

David Cairns, Sunday Times 13 December 2009

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